Mayor Ed Pawlowski

Another big victory for Columbia’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic:

An ordinance written by students in the Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic that grants domestic partner benefits to employees of Allentown, Pa., was signed into law yesterday by Mayor Ed Pawlowski.

The ordinance will provide city employees who have same-sex domestic partners the same benefits as employees with spouses, including health insurance and time off when a partner is hospitalized or dies.

“Allentown must be a city of inclusion, a city where every person counts,” Pawlowski said.  “For a city to grow and thrive it has to be a progressive community, one that supports the rights of all its individuals.  I am proud that I live in a progressive city that recognizes that what makes us great is our unique diversity.”

The seven-member Allentown City Council unanimously approved the domestic partnership ordinance on Jan. 19.

“We are thrilled that the City Council and Mayor have supported and passed these domestic partner benefits,” said Larra Morris ‘11, who drafted the ordinance along with Jennifer Simcovitch ‘11, and Swathi Sukumar ’10. “Since same-sex couples cannot marry in Pennsylvania, the law is significant for the gay and lesbian members of the city’s workforce who previously could not obtain these benefits for their domestic partners.

The ordinance applies to Allentown’s approximately 1,000-employee workforce as well as its retirees.

Allentown joins more than 80 U.S. cities and counties in that have adopted laws recognizing domestic partnerships. “Because benefits are such an important part of compensation, domestic partnership ordinances like Allentown’s help ensure that gay and lesbian employees are paid on par with their non-gay co-workers,” said Professor Suzanne B. Goldberg, the clinic’s director.

In drafting the law, the clinic collaborated with the Pennsylvania Diversity Network, the largest LGBT organization in Pennsylvania, which had been advocating for domestic partnership benefits in Allentown for more than 15 years. The students also worked with City Council President Mike D’Amore, who introduced the legislation, and the city human resources department.


  1. RT @GenderSexLaw: Rule Drafted by Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Students Becomes Law in Allentown, Pennsylvania http://wp.me/ploC4-RO

  2. For me, taking ownership of my sexuality and expressing it mean feeling good in my own skin. it’s confidence. Some days I feel it, some days I don’t.

  3. This is the fitting blog for anyone who desires to find out about this topic. You realize a lot its nearly onerous to argue with you (not that I truly would need…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, simply nice!

  4. My home computer is hooked up to a router. I would like to have access to my home computer’s webcam through my work computer. . My home computer is hooked up through a DSL modem and is always on.. My work computer obviously has access to the Internet..

Add a comment

Comments are subject to moderation and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of
Columbia Law School or Columbia University.



"Homeland" Security Abortion Rights Activism Adoption adultery Advocacy Affordable Care Act Alien Tort Claims Act Amicus Brief Asylum Bankruptcy BDS Bullying Census Politics Children Citizenship Civil Unions Clinic Columbia Law School Compulsory Marriage Condoms Contraception Contraception Mandate Cordoba House Criminal Law Cures for Homosexuality Defense of Marriage Act Disability Rights Discrimination Divorce Domestic Partnership Domestic Violence Domestic Workers Don't Ask Don't Tell Earth Day Economic Justice Education Egypt Elections Employment Discrimination ENDA Estate Planning Events Family Law Fellowships femininity Feminism Free Speech Gender and Technology Gender Identity Discrimination Gendering the Economy Gender Justice GSL Online Haiti Hate Crimes Health Care Hilary Clinton Hillary Clinton Hiring HIV HIV Discrimination Hobby Lobby Homelessness Homophobia Housing Human Rights Identity Politics Illegitimacy (sic) Immigration Reform In-ing Incest India International Law Intersectional Feminism Islamophobia Israel Jobs Justice Sotomayor King & Spalding Labor Trafficking Land Reform Law School Legal Profession Legal Scholarship Lesbian & Gay Parenting LGBT Parenting Marital Status Discrimination Marriage Marriage Equality Masculinity Medicaid Michelle Obama Migration Military National Security Obama Administration Obama Appointments Obergefell Outing OWS Palestine Parenting Pinkwashing Policing Politics of the Veil Polyamory Popular Culture Pornograpy Pregnancy Presidential Politics Prisons Privacy Products Liability Profanity Prop 8 Prosecutorial Discretion Publications Public Rights/Private Conscience Public Rights/Private Conscience Project Queer Theory Queer vs. Gay Rights Race and Racism Racial Stereotyping Rape Religion Religious Accommodation Religious Exemption Religious Exemptions Religious Freedom Restoration Act Religious Fundamentalism Reproductive Rights Reproductive Technology RFRA Romania Rwanda Sartorial Commentary Schools Sex Discrimination Sex Education Sex Stereotyping Sexting Sex Trafficking Sexual Assault Sexual Duplicity Sexual Harassment Sexual Health Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Sexual Orientation Discrimination Sex Work Silencing of voices SMUG Sodomy Law Reform Solidarity Sports Supreme Court Surrogacy Technology Title IX Trafficking Transgender Uganda Uncategorized Violence Women and Poverty Women of Color Work Zimbabwe

Academic Calendar  |  Resources for Employers  |  Campus Map & Directory  |  Columbia University  |  Jobs at Columbia  |  Contact Us

© Copyright 2009, Columbia Law School. For questions or comments, please contact the webmaster.